As the 2019 session ended on Sunday, here is how it impacted Broadcasters in Oregon and what ballot measures in 2020 may be coming our way in 2020.
Despite our best efforts, the Legislature decided not to fund our $1.9 million EAS ask. We were one of the final items left out of the final budgets, and we have a strong case to make going forward and will continue to campaign for the ask and move forward to get it funded in 2020. Given events late in the session, we will have to identify a new champion going forward.
A new gross receipts tax is likely to be referred to the ballot, and the legislature passed a bill to ensure that, similar to Measure 101 in 2018, it will be a January 2020 special election. Expect business and union interest to spend heavily, in what could be a hotly contested race.
A proposal to raise the tobacco tax by $2 per pack and institute a new tax on vaping products will be on the November 2020 ballot. The measure is likely to generate significant interest on both sides, as tobacco companies will be spending heavily on one side and healthcare spending heavily on the other.